And other members of the Executive Committee
Members of the Liberian People’s Party
Observers, Other distinguished ladies, and gentlemen
Before proceeding any further, I humbly request that you stand with me for one moment of silence to the memory of Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu, former Vice Standard Bearer of the Liberian People’s Party and all other fallen stalwarts of the Liberian People’s party, who are not alive today to see this day. Amen, and you may have your seats.
Fellow partisans, let me now express profound gratitude to you on behalf of me, my beautiful wife, and other members of my family for your expression of confidence in me. The mandate that you have given me by my election as the standard bearer of the Liberian People’s Party is huge. Today, you have mandated me to effectively present to the Liberian people the agenda of the Liberian People’s Party for a Better Liberia- a Liberia in which the rule of law will be strengthened for the safety of all Liberians and the promotion of law and order through the maintenance of an effective and accountable police force, on the one hand, and the improvement of our court system to be so independent, fair and impartial for justice to be done to all with a high degree of integrity. Today, you have directed me to go forward to tell the Liberian people that a better Liberia is possible if we collectively fight the high level of corruption that exists in the governance of Liberia, in order to save enough money to improve our health system, educational system, reduce food insecurity, improve our infrastructure, increase our use of technology and tap on our green energy potential in order to move from being an energy-dependent country to a productive partner in improving the electricity capacity of West Africa. Yes, you have mandated me to let the Liberian people to know that we can provide more job opportunities for Liberians through creative ways for factories and other employment-generating activities all over Liberia away from Monrovia via different kinds of investment incentives thereby putting more money in the pockets of Liberians and improving government’s revenue-generating capacity. My dear partisans, you have directed me to tell the Liberian people that we can grow enough rice and other food crops for our consumption and even exportation by mechanized farming through farmers’ cooperatives and the agricultural battalion of the Armed forces of Liberia.
My esteemed comrades, you have clearly instructed me to go forth and tell the Liberian people that we can create Liberian millionaires outside government offices by giving Liberian business entities more government contracts than is being currently done. Your mandate, dear partisans is for me to convince the Liberian people that we must insist on adding value to our mineral resources such as producing polished diamonds and processed gold, adding value to our iron ore, and stopping the exportation of round logs and instead produce made in Liberia furniture for local use and export.
Fellow partisans, Liberia has experienced the worst forms of hardship from the effects of one-party rule, military dictatorship, armed civil conflict, and brutal civilian dictatorship all due to bad governance stimulated by greed and selfishness. Bad governance has made corruption an acceptable culture of governance, unfortunately. As a result of the high level of corruption in most government offices in Liberia, the majority of the people of Liberia are getting poorer and poorer every day. Corruption has made every aspect of life so difficult that more children are dying in Liberia before reaching the age of five, more pregnant women are dying and more people are dying from easily curable diseases and from hunger. Corruption is keeping more children out of school because their parents cannot afford to send them to school. Corruption has made it impossible for Liberians to travel in most parts of Liberia, especially in Southeastern Liberia during the rainy season. Corruption is a weapon of mass destruction. In Liberia corruption has become a pandemic. Like a pandemic, the only way to slow a pandemic is to take preventive measures. We will tell the people that LPP believes in operating an open, transparent, and accountable government with the assets, salaries, and benefits of the president, the vice president, the Speaker, President Pro Tempore, the lawmakers, the Chief Justice, justices, and judges, as well as all public service employees, made known to the people of Liberia by publishing same on a government website. We will mobilize and motivate the Liberian people by showing good example, for all Liberians to collectively sweep corruption from Liberia. The number one task of the Liberian People’s Party today is to lead the Liberian people in the battle against corruption. We must collectively form a movement against this notorious enemy of Liberia.
Fellow partisans, the challenge of transforming Liberia into a better country for all is indeed a very difficult one. However, with our party’s principle of putting the interest of the people above all other considerations, we will overcome the challenge of transforming Liberia for all Liberians to equally enjoy Liberia. The people of Botswana, Singapore, Rwanda, and UAE have shown us that with good leadership any country can be transformed into a better country, no matter how difficult the situation. For example, Botswana is a landlocked country with more than half of its land covered by the Kalahari desert; Singapore is a little island with less natural resources; Rwanda is a landlocked country that fought a bitter civil war like Liberia, and the United Arab Emirates was a desert land for many years with the popular mode of transport being camels and donkeys. With good leadership, these countries are among the better-developed countries of the world today and their citizens are getting richer due to less corruption, while the citizens of Liberia are getting poorer every day due to uncontrolled greed and corruption. We cannot continue to choose bad leadership because bad leadership promotes corruption and corruption brings hopelessness, despair, and untold hardship in any country. Today, for example, because of corruption, the SN Brussel has canceled all flights in and out of Liberia. Liberians flying out of Liberia or coming to Liberia have to travel to Freetown, Conakry, or Abidjan by road to get on international flights. This is an additional source of suffering for Liberians.
I dream of a Liberia in which Liberia will be free and so sweet for every and all Liberians such that no Liberian will be reluctant to depart from and hurry to return to. This is only possible if we sweep corruption away from every government office in Liberia. Government is a place to serve, not to steal. Without corruption, a better Liberia is possible.
We can and will succeed. A Better Liberia is Possible
Long Live the Liberian People’s Party
Long Live Liberia
This acceptance speech was delivered on September 16 in Bong County at the Liberian People’s Party Convention
Main Photo: Comrade Taiwan Saye Gongloe Posed with delegates at the Convention